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The Sonkran festival is basically a nationwide water fight that lasts for several days. Chiang Mai is renowned as one of the wildest locations for Sonkran. Tourists, both foreign and Thai, come to Chiang Mai to celebrate this event.  

Sonkran is the traditional news years celebration (typically between the 13th and 15th of april). The Sonkran festival takes place during the hottest time of the year and is said to mark the end of the dry season. During which time, the streets fill up with people armed with water guns and buckets (often full of ice water). The festival serves as an appropriate representation of the Thai culture as it characterises the fun-loving attitude that you often associate with the Thai people. Of course, it's not always fun and games. There are many alcohol-related road accidents during this time of year. It doesn’t help that Thailand already has the second highest rate of road accident fatalities in the word. Additionally, what Sonkran has become has been known to prompt complaints from traditionalists, as the throwing of “blessed” water was originally intended as a way of paying respect to people. Now it’s just all-out fun-fuelled carnage. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you’re doing, you’re going to get drenched if you hit the streets. 

Apparently the origins of the festival are rooted in ancient india. The Brahmins (Hindu societies) believed that around april the 13th, the sun finishes it’s orbit around the earth. The festival actually bears similarity to the famous Indian festival known as Holy, where people throw different coloured powder at each other. Although powder is rarely thrown during Sonkran, it is not uncommon for a Thai to approach you and smear powder on your face.  

Anyway, if you haven’t yet experienced the aquatic onslaught of Sonkran, make sure it goes on your bucket list. 

 

 

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